Planning an Adventure Using Pinterest
Before I joined the travel blog community, I had no idea how many resources there were to help plan a trip or vacation. The internet is a wonderful tool and the information available for travellers is growing every day. Especially through the blogging world.
My last few trips that I have taken have been solo missions and so I was able to plan them exactly how I wanted. I didn’t have to cater to anyone else’s desires or restrictions. This is the main reason why I love travelling alone so much. My first solo trip was New Zealand on a working holiday visa. I was going to live in Queenstown for a few months to save some money and then drive or bus my way across both islands until the money ran out. I planned this for months before leaving and I will say, that I only stuck with about 25% of my plan haha. But the research I did, was extremely valuable in helping me understand what New Zealand had to offer, and giving me the best idea of what kind of New Zealand experience I was looking for. The same has applied to all the trips that I have taken since.
My most valuable resource in planning all of my trips in the past 5 years has been Pinterest. I will create a board for all the pins I find related to the place I plan to visit, then simply start pinning.
I’ll search for anything relating to my destination. From landmarks, tours, and hiking, to food and accommodation. Once I have a significant amount of pins, I start my research.
After Pinterest I go to TripAdvisor. There are a ton of other travel review sites that you could use for this purpose, such as Yelp. TripAdvisor is just the one that I prefer to use. I also write all of my own personal reviews on TripAdvisor. I take the information I have found on Pinterest and see what other travellers have had to say about the places or things that I have pinned.
If the reviews have still not answered all of your questions, TripAdvisor is also great for forums. There is a forum on TripAdvisor for everything. And if there isn’t, start one. Some of the conversations in the forums are old but in most cases, the information is still valid and useful. When I was planning my trip to Costa Rica, I needed to find a decent rental car company and a company providing scuba gear for rent. I found both of these resources through conversations on a Costa Rica forum.
Try and remember not to take reviews too seriously though because each individuals experience could be influenced by a number of different circumstances unique to that moment or person. Your own experience in the same place could be very different for different reasons. So my advice would be to compare each review to how they would stand up against your own needs and expectations. An individuals attitude alone can be the reason their experience was terrible or amazing.
Pinterest is also a great way to find a blogger that my have something to say about the exact place you plan to visit. Blogs are another great way to learn about the place you want to go, and many pins on Pinterest will lead you to someones blog where they will tell you in detail about their own experience regarding the reason you pinned that picture in the first place.
When I traveled to Hawaii for a few weeks over Christmas 2016, all of my planning was done via Pinterest. After pinning close to 350 pins on the islands of Kauai and Hawaii, I narrowed down my favorite destinations by what I read on blogs and TripAdvisor. I then searched them up on Google Maps. Once I had them all charted out on a map, I was able to design an itinerary for my time using the most accessible locations to my accommodation. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see al of the places that I had chosen, but I was able to make the best use of my time, by knowing ahead, where everything was and how much I wanted to see/do it.
In the days before the internet, people had to rely on the phone book and word-of-mouth to plan a trip. With all the information available today, it can be overwhelming. In no way am I saying that the best way to travel is to have everything planned before you leave. There is something beautiful and exhilarating about being spontaneous. My advice is only to know in advance what your destination has to offer and what you want to get out of your time there. Using some of these tools and having this little bit of information, you can try to ensure that your time while travelling wont be wasted doing something you wont enjoy.
But of course, there are still some wonderful advantages to keeping a holiday spontaneous, and leaving some things to chance.